The enhancements in the latest release include improved privacy functionality, a rebuilt options configuration screen, multiple interface tweaks and a reworked automatic updating mechanism.
Mozilla's Firefox Web browser has certainly come a long way from when it started. At first, it was an unknown browser that barely anyone used, but then soon after it became the second most used Web browser on the Internet. Mozilla has made its browsers very nicely in the past and the previous version of Firefox certainly continued that standard. The release of Firefox 1.5 makes Firefox even better.
To start, Firefox's installation size has not gotten any bigger, which is a good thing. Firefox only uses about 5MB of hard drive space, which means that it is very fast running compared to Microsoft's Internet Explorer.
When we first started Firefox 1.5, we didn't notice much that was different from Firefox 1.0. The interface was still the same. Firefox still has tabbed-browsing, which is a must for today's Web browsing. Our theme extension that we used for Firefox 1.0 was no longer being used because it isn't compatible with Firefox 1.5, but in time, there will be a new version of the theme for use with Firefox 1.5. Most of our extensions, still worked.
After diving deeper into Firefox, we found that you can re-order your open tabs just by dragging and dropping them to wherever you want on the tab bar. Some additions to the search bar were apparent too, such as the ability to search Answers.com. The navigation in Firefox 1.5 is much faster as well. Mozilla has implemented "intelligent caching" on the forward and back buttons, so the pages that visitors are most likely to visit are preloaded with no visible performance impact, which is awesome. Firefox 1.5 also offers a one-click Clear Personal Data option, which deletes your browser's history, cache, and cookies with only one click of the mouse.
Updates are now automatic in Firefox 1.5. This includes extension, browser, security, and theme updates. Mozilla will have the ability to close software holes as soon as they are found by pushing security patches to the browser. According to the Mozilla Organization, most of these updates will be less than 500KB, so they'll be very unobtrusive.
In conclusion, Mozilla has made Firefox ever better. If you liked Firefox before, you will love the 1.5 update. It's a must have for any Firefox user, novice or enthusiast.
Firefox 2 will be based on continued development of the Gecko 1.8 branch created for Firefox 1.5. The goal is that Firefox 1.5 and 2 are compatible from a web developer's point of view. New APIs may be added, but existing ones should not be removed. The content of the Firefox 2 release is to be mostly user-focused and performed on the 1.8 branch, as significant Gecko changes requiring 12 months of shake-n-bake are ongoing on the trunk. Care must be taken by developers to ensure their work reaches both locations, to avoid aviary-branch style inconsistencies.
Firefox 3 Beta?
Firefox 3 is out in beta and better than ever, with usability enhancements that make the browser simpler and easier to work with. The new version of Firefox fixes 300 memory leaks, and is based on the Gecko 1.8 Web rendering engine, designed to enhance performance and stability.
The Firefox 3 interface isn't too different, at first, from the current version. Differences emerge as you dig down.
While new security features designed to protect against viruses, phishing, and other threats, are getting most of the attention. The most interesting changes to Firefox 3 are the numerous, small modifications -- and one big one -- that'll make Web browsing quicker and easier.
Firefox Released (2004)
FTC Shuts Down Spyware Web Sites